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How to integrate Instagram into your communications plan

A picture speaks a thousand words and that’s the beauty of Instagram.

Using pictures to tell stories about your business is a smart way of getting across a message with impact. Capturing your audience’s attention with compelling images will draw them into your story and tempt them to find out more.

Here are our six simple steps to get you started and ensure your Instagram channel works towards your communication goals:

1) Decide on your audience – The people that you’re trying to reach through Instagram almost certainly won’t be the same audience you’re looking to reach through other channels. Identify exactly who you’re looking to attract and write content directly for them, thinking about what they will find of interest.

2) Decide on your call to action – Although posting a lovely image might get you lots of likes, you need to consider what you want people to do having seen the post. Are you sending them back to your website? Are you raising awareness of a product or service? Are you informing them about an initiative or idea? All posts should have an objective and outcome in mind, whether it’s a specific ‘visit our website to buy this’ type message, or a more subtle profile-raising goal.

3) Stay on brand – Content shared on Instagram should be bespoke for the channel (ie: don’t copy and paste your Facebook posts), but that doesn’t mean you should stray from the company guidelines. Your tone of voice should be consistent with other channels and any graphics or materials used should stick to company brand. Your Instagram page should be a recognisable member of a whole family of communications materials.

4) Plan your content – Using an Instagram page to contribute to your overall communications strategy means you must think carefully about what content you’re going to post. Perhaps your aim is to raise the company’s profile, so you might share images from news items, meet the team posts and celebrations of award wins. If your aim is to promote a product, you might want to share high-quality imagery of the product and its features, special offers and incentives.

5) Plan your hashtags – To get your content seen by a wider audience, use hashtags. Think of these as keywords surrounding your story or post. For example, you could use a location (#Devon), a theme (#wildlife) or an event tag (#SouthWestAwards). Look at other posts within your sector for inspiration and try searching the hashtag before you use it to check its reach and usage.

6) Measure and evaluate – With your goals and audience in mind, regularly check that you are achieving what you set out to do. And if you aren’t… adjust your content plan accordingly, perhaps research some new hashtags, and consider other ways to achieve your goals.

A whopping 1 billion* people use Instagram every month and more than 500 million* of them use it every day. This is a truly vast audience looking for top-quality visual content.

Plus – with 71% of Instagram users around the globe under the age of 35* – by integrating Instagram into your communications strategy, you’re reaching a new audience that traditional media channels might not get.

If you’re looking for a communications team to look after your social media channels, get in touch with us. As well as writing compelling copy, our photography team can take those tantalising images.

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